Philippines: Ospital Ng Maynila to be Showcase Hospital in Southeast Asia
November 12th, 2008
Manila - Health Care Without Harm (HCWH)-Southeast Asia sees Ospital ng Maynila in the Philippines to be one of the model hospitals in Southeast Asia in terms of proper health care waste management, employing appropriate non-incineration treatment technologies and joining other hospitals around the world in using mercury-free devices.
Ospital ng Maynila, built in the 60s is located in the capital city of the country. It is one of the four hospitals owned and operated by the city of Manila.
According to Merci Ferrer, HCWH-SEA Executive Director, Ospital ng Maynila having been chosen as one of the model facility in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) Project "Demonstrating and Promoting Best Techniques and Practices for Reducing Health Care Waste to Avoid Environmental Releases of Dioxins and Mercury" will be one of the recipient hospitals in the country to benefit from the trainings on proper health care waste management and new alternative waste treatment facility.
UNDP GEF is a 3-year project that aims to demonstrate and promote best practices and techniques for health care waste management to minimize or eliminate releases of persistent organic pollutants and mercury to the environment in eight selected countries-Argentina, India, Latvia, Lebanon, Philippines, Senegal, Tanzania and Vietnam. It will likewise demonstrate the effectiveness of non-burn health care waste treatment technologies.
"The disposal of healthcare waste, the release of highly toxic and cancer-causing pollutants from incineration and the dangers of mercury are problems facing countries all over the world," said Dr. Jorge Emmanuel, Chief Technical Advisor for GEF. "Through the UNDP GEF project, Ospital ng Maynila will become a showcase for the Southeast Asian region."
Ferrer added "The Philippine Clean Air Act which banned the use of medical waste incinerators as early as July 2003 and the Department of Health's (DoH) Administrative Order 2008-0021 mandating the gradual phase-out of all mercury-containing devices in all Philippine hospitals and health care facilities by 2010 will both serve as a strong groundwork for the GEF."
She added "HCWH has been very consistent in its global call and campaign to phase-out mercury in health care. We believe that through modeling, which is the thrust of the UNDP GEF, hospitals all over SEA and all over the world will see the urgency, as well as feasibility of the campaign."
Under the UNDP GEF, a Memorandum of Agreement will be signed between the model hospital, the city government and the GEF Global Project Team to allow installation of a new alternative waste treatment system, replace mercury devices with non-mercury, institutionalize a good health care waste management system, train all members of the staff, document the improvements and showcase the hospital as a model health facility.
"A major expectation from Ospital ng Maynila is for them to sustain the model facility after the UNDP GEF project ended and to help replicate the model in other hospitals," said Emmanuel.
"On the last year of the project, we hope that the example of Ospital ng Maynila will help replicate the best environmental practices and best technologies to other hospitals in Manila, the country and eventually in the SEA region," he added.
The project in the Philippines targets two hospitals-an urban and a rural hospital. Details of a provincial hospital in Region 1 are still being worked out.
HCWH-SEA, a major cooperating agency to the Project, recommended Philippines to be included in the Project because of the strength of the HCWH network and office based in Manila.
Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) is a global coalition of 473 organizations in more than 50 countries working to protect health by reducing pollution in health care sector. For more information, visit www.noharm.org.
Sonia G. Astudillo, Communications Officer, +63 918 9182369, firstname.lastname@example.org
Merci Ferrer, Executive Director, + 63 920 9056113, email@example.com